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Whether your marriage is on the road to victory, in foul trouble, or just needs a halftime pep talk, you'll find compassionate and competent coaching in Happy ...
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Whether your marriage is on the road to victory, in foul trouble, or just needs a halftime pep talk, you'll find compassionate and competent coaching in Happy Spouse . . . Happy House.
• Based on the BEST acronym: blessing, edifying, sharing, and touching
• Ideal for newly married couples as well as couples married for many years, marriage counselors, men's and women's small groups, and book clubs
• Designed to also work as a guide for a small group study. Each chapter concludes with questions for discussion and to encourage a further look at what God's Word has to say about the topic being considered in the chapter
LET THE WIFE MAKE THE HUSBAND GLAD TO COME HOME, AND LET HIM MAKE HER SORRY TO SEE HIM LEAVE. -MARTIN LUTHER
I was just drifting oft when the phone rang.
Jarred awake by the shrill sound, I sat bolt upright in bed and began groping in the darkness for the receiver.
The glow from the digital clock told me it was almost midnight.
Who could be calling at this hour?
My heart pounded. Every nerve tingled. As any parent would, I breathed a quick prayer that all my children were safe and well.
I finally grabbed the phone on my fourth try, just as Ruth clicked on her bedside lamp,
"Hello," I croaked.
"Who is it?" Ruth asked.
Finally, a trembling male voice came over the line,
"Is this ... Pat Williams?"
"Yes it is."
"Of the Orlando Magic?"
I sounded a lot calmer than I was feeling
"I'm sorry to call you so late, but I didn't know what else to do." My caller paused to catch his breath, and I sensed that he was close to tears.
"Go on," I urged,
"It's my wife. She says she's leaving me." His voice cracked and moved up an octave or two as he continued, "she says she doesn't love me anymore."
Another long pause. Then, "I've read some of your books on marriage, and I've heard you on Dr Dobson's show."
A mix of emotions shot through me. Relief that my kids were OK. Anger that a stranger was nervy enough to call me at such a late hour. Then finally, sympathy for this hurting man.
"Who is it?" Ruth asked again. "Is everything OK?"
I covered the mouthpiece with my hand and whispered, "He says his wife is leaving him,"
"He?" Ruth asked, "He who?"
I shrugged. "I have no idea."
My wife sighed and threw back the covers. "Let me get you some water." She knew this conversation was probably going to last for a while,
Over the past thirty years, I've received hundreds of phone calls from broken people, most of them men, desperately trying to hang on to their marriages. The only difference between those calls and the one I just described is that, thankfully, the vast majority don't come so late at night.
Most of the men who call tell me they had no idea their wives were unhappy. They had no idea there were any problems in their marriages. They didn't see the warning signs coming until their wives suddenly announced they wanted out.
I've heard it again and again: "1 was just so busy at work. But I'm trying so hard now. This is the worst thing I've ever been through."
"I know how you feel," I say. "I know you're panic stricken and you want to get the relationship back to what it was. But whatever you do, don't stark whining and begging her to stay. Even if she does stay, she'll be doing it out of guilt, or sympathy, and neither is good."
"Then what should I do? I can't bear the thought of her leaving me."
"I understand. I want you to go to her and tell her that you understand she has a right to walk away from the marriage if she wants to, but that you love her and want you r marriage to last forever. Tell her, 'If you stay with me, from now on I'm going to do everything I can to be the husband and partner you really want me to be. I know I've failed in many areas, but I'm really going to try to make it work if you'll give me a chance.'"
"I'm going to lay out a plan for you that will win back your wife's heart-99 percent guaranteed."
If it were possible, I'd be willing to have a telephone conversation with every hurting husband and wife in America. But because that's impossible, I've decided to write this book and share everything I'd say if we were having a nice long chat on the phone. So pull up a chair, settle back, and I'll tell you how you truly can have a happy spouse and a happy house.
My wife, Ruth, will be here too, to share from a woman's perspective and to tell you how goad I am when it comes to practicing what I preach, Right, Ruth?
We'll both be sharing insights from our own marriage, telling you honestly about some of the challenges we've had to face and how we've overcome them.
Of course, Ruth and I are bath aware that thousands of books have been written on the topic of marriage, Go into any bookstore, check out the "Marriage and Family" section, and you'll see what I mean. But I believe the very best of them was written in the early 1980s by Dr Ed Wheat. His book, Love Life for Every Married Couple, literally transformed my life.
Dr. Wheat was a medical doctor in Springdale, Arkansas, who was puzzled that he could not find a medical reason for the health complaints of many of his female patients. The women said they didn't feel goad, They were depressed, Sad. Some were certain they were dying of a mysterious disease.
Yet test after test came back clear. Apparently, there was nothing at all wrong with these women.
Or was there?
When the good doctor took a closer look, he discovered that all of them had something in common; an unhappy marriage.
Their bodies weren't broken, but their spirits were.
This discovery prompted Dr. Wheat to write his wonderful book. In it, he took the position that if even one of the partners in a marriage is committed to the relationship, it can be restored. Dr. Wheat taught that even if your spouse has "fallen out of lave with you," you can win her (or him) back by using the principles Ruth and I have built upon in writing this book.
Dr. Wheat's position was that every Christian marriage should be the best the world has ever seen. He even broke his teaching down into tire acrostic BEST:
These four elements are just about fail-proof when it comes to building a solid marriage. They work.
If your marriage is broken and you want to fix it, this book is for you.
If your marriage is OK, but not as good as you'd like, Ruth and I will tell you haw to rediscover the passion you once knew.
If you have a strong marriage, we'll suggest how you can make it even better,
And if you're about to get married, this book will help you learn haw to keep your love alive as the years go by.
We're writing to everyone who is married, or contemplating marriage. We know what we're talking about. I speak from experience when I talk about the pain of a marital breakup. I know the trauma of rejection. My first wife left me-with eighteen children.
My oldest children-Jimmy, Bobby, and Karyn-were born during the first six years of my first marriage. My wife frequently talked about adopting children from another country, but I wasn't really interested and hoped her desire would pass, Instead, it grew stronger, to the point where I believed our marriage was at stake.
Thus it was that two- and three-year-old sisters Sarah and Andrea came from South Korea to join our family I fell in love with them the moment I saw them, and they were a constant delight.
A year later, my delight was increased when Michael was born to us.
Next, twins Stephen and Thomas came from South Korea to join the Williams family just prior to their sixth birthdays. And when I heard about four young boys who had been living on the streets in the Philippines, I said, "We've got to help them!" That's when David, Peter, Brian, and Sammy made it an even dozen. After that, Gabriela and Katarina, two beautiful five-year-old orphans from Romania, made it fourteen.
Then, an a trip to Brazil, I met four more desperate kids, Without help, they probably wouldn't make it to adulthood, Well, there was always room for one more-or four more. Welcome to the family, Daniela, Richard, Caroline, and Alan.
A month after their arrival, my wife announced that she wanted out of the marriage. The next three years were awful, as my marriage slowly wound its way through divorce court and I became a single parent to eighteen children, This was a painful, depressing period for me, I was devastated emotionally and financially, and sometimes thought I would never recover.
That's when God surprised me with joy and brought two unexpected treasures into my life.
The first treasure: my wonderful wife Ruth, with wham came the inspiration for sharing the principles that go into building a great marriage.
The second treasure; our nineteenth child-Ruth's lovely daughter, Stephanie.
As legendary broadcaster Paul Harvey would say, "Now you know the rest of the story."
At the end of every chapter, we'll include a list of questions that can be used for personal reflection and further study. If you really want to get the most out of this book, study it together with other couples in a small group setting, During the course of this book, we may touch on some areas that are painful for you, Please keep in mind that our goal is never to cause hurt or open old wounds, but rather to bring healing and hope, We're not pore to point fingers, cause hurt feelings, or induce guilt. We've certainly made our share of mistakes. Thank you for reading everything we have to say with a loving, open attitude.
The BEST is yet to come as you read through the pages that follow. I'm so glad you're along for the journey. No matter what the state of your marriage may be-top of the world or bottom of the junk heap-get ready for a transformation.
Excerpted from Happy Spouse ... Happy House by PAT WILLIAMS RUTH WILLIAMS DAVE WIMBISH Copyright © 2009 by Pat Williams. Excerpted by permission.
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